Philippines Hostage Standoff: Toning Down the Rhetoric

Philippines hostage incident.

The following post is being reposted from China Hearsay. Stan’s VPN isn’t working and he couldn’t get on c/d, because we’re still blocked by the GFW. – Kai

You’ve probably seen the news on this nasty hostage incident by now:

In the face of growing Chinese anger, Philippine officials acknowledged failings in how the police handled a 12-hour hostage standoff on a tourist bus, which unfolded on live television and ended with the deaths of eight passengers from Hong Kong and the armed captor, a former police officer. (NYT)

Image credit: AFP

There are several things swirling around out there about this incident. First, you’ve got family and friends of the victims who are grieving. To the extent possible with this sort of very public crime, it would make sense to leave them alone and let them get on with what they need to do.

Second, there are zillions of folks in Hong Kong and the Mainland who are ”angered” or ”outraged” or whatever other sort of word you want to use to characterize the emotion being expressed on microblogs and BBS sites everywhere.

Third, there is the bilateral dialogue going on between China/Hong Kong SAR and the Philippines. A lot of coordination needs to happen when foreign nationals are killed overseas, so this is certainly understandable as well.

As usual, though, folks are taking this a bit too far. Sure, emotions are running high, and this sort of thing tends to bring out he inner nationalist in a lot of people. More’s the pity. A tragic event takes place, and certain individuals take that as some sort of an affront to them, their country, their race.

As usual with this blog, I run the risk in writing this post of coming off as an insufferable, insensitive prick. Not my intention. The basic message I’m trying to convey here is not that folks should not be upset, but that ultimately our response needs to be reasonable. This was, after all, a criminal act perpetrated by a nutjob, and the response was bungled by the cops.

For some reason, though, some people want to turn this into more than it was. Look at this Global Times article, “Chinese Demand Answers in Killing.” Really? Perhaps the Hong Kong government, or the families involved, but ”The Chinese?” Isn’t that taking things a bit too far?

A wave of mourning and anger washed across China Tuesday over Monday’s cold-blooded killings of Hong Kong tourists in the Philippine capital and from what many people are calling incompetence by police in handling a volatile hostage situation.

I think everyone agrees that this was indeed incompetence on behalf of the police, and the way the media acted over there is contemptible. However, the imagery of “A wave of mourning and anger” washing across the entire country seems like going over the top. I’ve already seen some BBS posts that imply that the reason the police screwed the pooch was not incompetence, but indifference, due to the fact that the passengers were Chinese.

Additionally, I always wonder why these types of incidents, which obviously require dialogue between the two countries, end up in the press with one nation pitted against the other. Why do Netizens commonly look for ”bilateral tension” and a worsening of the relationship? Why do we get this sort of nonsense from the Global Times (this one is at least an Op/Ed, not news)?

In order to make sure the hostages were safe and not to cause diplomatic disputes, the authorities could have easily accepted the gunman’s request, or at least given him some promise to calm him down.

Second-guessing the police decisions? Sure, go for it. But assuming that when an incident like this goes bad, there is automatically a diplomatic incident? Why?

Does it make us feel better to blame an entire government when a criminal act is bungled by police officers? Must we second-guess police funding decisions, anti-terror campaigns, even Philippine foreign policy in order to assess sufficient blame?

Here’s more from the Associated Press:

There was anger in Hong Kong. At the Philippine Consulate, several dozen protesters chanted: “Strongly condemn the Philippine government for being careless about human life!”

Many Hong Kong newspapers printed mastheads in black out of respect for the victims, and flags in the territory flew at half-staff.

“Filipino police incompetent,” Hong Kong’s Ming Pao Daily News said in a front-page headline.

The South China Morning Post called the killings “a wake-up call” for the Philippines to boost security and take gun-control measures.

Protesting at a foreign consulate due to the incompetent actions of some police officers? Maybe I’m just being an insensitive asshole, but that seems way out of proportion. Aquino did not order a military strike against that bus.

And does that SCMP advice make sense? The Philippines had 138 of these hostage situations last year, and 56 so far this year. I don’t think they need a wake-up call, just better government policy and competent police. Despite the fact that foreign nationals were killed, aren’t these questions a matter of domestic policy?

Let’s hope that this does not devolve into the usual chest thumping and boycotts.

UPDATE: This doesn’t look promising. From Bloomberg:

The Philippines appealed to Hong Kong people to refrain from taking out anger against Filipinos following the deaths of eight of the city’s residents in a tour bus hijacking in Manila.

The Philippine government recognizes the “backlash” caused by the deadly siege and is “doing everything” it can to contain it, Edwin Lacierda, a spokesman for President Benigno Aquino, said today.



54 Comments

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  1. lolz

    What most Western folks don’t understand is the fact that people in Hong Kong and Taiwan generally think of Filipinos as servants. Of course there is a good reason for this, since most Filipinos in HK and Taiwan do work as servants. However the prejudice against Filipinos by especially Hong Kong people should not be overlooked. IMO it is a big factor driving the complaints.

    On the other hand, there are some really stupid Filipino police out there who made the matters worse by smiling and posing right in front of the BUS for pictures taken by friends.

    • King Tubby

      lolz. Again, you are stating the bleeding obvious. You are unquestionably the most predictable poster across the bridgeblogs. Totally unread, empirical and opinionated like some Tea Party partisan.

      Never once have you posted something which indicates that you have moved outside your own telephone booth. Crikey, there are all types of tossers on this site, and I include myself, who are far more fun and/or educational to read. A total waste of band width.

      • Lolz

        I am stating the obvious, really? Then why doesn’t anyone talk about the “obvious”?

        As for predictability I don’t think I am any less predictable than most of the posters and commenters. The ideas in most the comments have been expressed time after time again, including most of your own posts. People don’t come here to get educated, they come here to vent.

        • King Tubby

          Lolz. Being voted down by you and your catamites is a priviliege. My post still stands.

          • lolz

            Haha KT you assume too much. Just to let you know I didn’t vote you down, but apparently some others agreed with me and did just that.

            BTW, “catamites” is an odd word, I had to look it up. Clearly your familiarity with NAMBLA far exceeds mine.

          • King Tubby

            Lolz. Not hard to come up with the c……e word. OED and a decent education, You have never responded to my Benedict Anderson comment on Custers site re Tibet. You are an intellectual amoeba .

          • lolz

            “You have never responded to my Bene­dict Ander­son com­ment on Custers site re Tibet. You are an intel­lec­tual amoeba .”

            LOL KT you are upset at me for not responding to your post which is now on the 4th page of chinageeks? Didn’t I write back to you already that I don’t have the time nor desire to revisit every blog entry which I had commented on? If it makes you happy just think that you have convinced everyone, and especially me that you have demonstrated to be the greatest and smartest Sinologist in the blogosphere with your superior intellect and debating skills through these posts. Yes, and that’s why most people don’t bother to reply to any of your posts/flame baits.

      • Josh

        Well you’re a pedantic asshole, aren’t you!

      • Bai Ren

        The bleeding obvious, aka common sense, does need to be stated. This socially contextualizes part of the hegemonic thought which colours the world view, and by that the view of Filipinos by many of the bombastic bloggers.

    • pug_ster

      Seriously, Stan, the story with foreign tourists, investors and retirees who wants to live in Philippines is a joke. The problem with violence toward foreigners is well known long before this incident happened.

      http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/LH17Ae01.html

      US has already issued warnings for its citizens not to go there and I am surprised that the Chinese government didn’t do the same thing until now.

      • Josh

        “The prob­lem with vio­lence toward for­eign­ers is well known long before this inci­dent happened.”

        Doesn’t that lend further credence to the fact that they were not attacked because they were Chinese but rather because they were not Philipino?

        • pug_ster

          Well, the bus has says “Hong Thai Travel” and has Chinese characters written on the side. I’m sure there are hundreds of city buses that the hostage could’ve taken, but decided to take this one. Maybe you can tell me why that Crazy lunatic is not targeting the Chinese.

          • Jones

            Might have been luck of the draw. I mean, in Jiaxing, on any given morning, there are several buses carrying the bearing the number 23, but I always just took the first one I saw when I walked up to the bus stop.

  2. Bryan

    Could possibly file these reactions under “growing pains”.

    The Hong Kong origins aside, reactions from Mainland seem to be inline with the relative newcomer status to the perils of international tourism.

    Some folks are finding out the hard way what most traveling nations have known for awhile…the world is dangerous…and no…it’s probably not because you are Chinese…probably because you are a tourist.

    For the record, three of the eight were Canadian and aside from a federal government request for an inquiry, it isn’t getting much play up here. Canadians are always getting shot, beaten and kidnapped down in Mexico (and, I’m sure…many other places around the world). Just another day outside Canuckland.

    • pug_ster

      Then again, Western countries like Canada and the US don’t have large tour operators running in the country like what China and HK does. This black alert warning merely follows what they are doing as HK tour operators are just closing shop there.

  3. Jones

    Not insensitive. It was a horrible tragedy, and the Philippine police could have handled it differently, but in the end the emotions that go beyond the “that’s tragic” and reach into the realm of nationalistic hatred and ethnocentric-fueled comments are absolutely ridiculous, childish, and indicative of a preexisting, arrogance towards one-another. All this did was open the flood gates.

    • lolz

      Nothing compared to the shit which muslims in the US receive from fellow americans.

      This whole thing will go on for a few weeks and afterward people will forget.

      • Jones

        Trollololololz

        Haha

        I assume you’re referencing current events in the US, involving this “Park51 Mosque”, or “Ground Zero Mosque”, if you will.

        The Muslims in the US are getting a better fare than in a lot of other countries. At least there is debate. Take a look at the facial veil bans in France, minaret bans in Switzerland, or in some Middle Eastern countries where the government determines where the mosque is to be built and what the clerics can say in the mosques.

        Now, next time you’re butthurt because someone points out the obvious, just take a tylenol instead. You’re way too predictable.

        • lolz

          “I assume you’re ref­er­enc­ing cur­rent events in the US, involv­ing this “Park51 Mosque”, or “Ground Zero Mosque”, if you will.”

          Not really, these are just the newest events. If you have any arab friends they will tell you that since 9/11 muslims in the US have always been treated like crap. But why are you being defensive all of a sudden when I criticized the US? Some kind of nationalistic defense mechanism? If I sum up the points in both of our posts it would be that Chinese treats Filipinos better than Americans treat their own muslims, which is better than europeans treat their muslims.

          “Now, next time you’re but­thurt because some­one points out the obvi­ous, just take a tylenol instead. You’re way too predictable.”

          *sigh*. Not sure why do you think I would be butthurt. And of course I am predictable I have been posting as a Chinese defender consistently on issues, duh.

          • Jones

            “But why are you being defensive all of a sudden when I criticized the US? Some kind of nationalistic defense mechanism?”

            Sigh, no, lolz. Simply adding a different point of view does not equate to a “nationalistic defense mechanism”. That seems to be your go-to response if anyone offers up a rebuttal. Again, very predictable.

            Or, I could play your game: Why did you get so defensive when someone criticized China? Why did you bring up a nation that was completely out of question, non-sequitur? Is that some kind of nationalistic defense mechanism?

            The butthurt comment was in reference to you, as I mentioned earlier, becoming desperate and bringing up non-sequitur points. Oh, but…but…it’s worse in this other country!

            Let me close with posting two of your quotes from the same response:
            1) “”But why are you being defensive all of a sudden when I criticized the US? Some kind of nationalistic defense mechanism?”
            2) “I have been posting as a Chinese defender consistently on issues, duh.”

            I rest my case.

          • lolz

            “Sigh, no, lolz. Sim­ply adding a dif­fer­ent point of view does not equate to a “nation­al­is­tic defense mech­a­nism”.

            A different point of view Jones? When I posted that US muslims get treated worse than the Filipino bashing that’s going on China right now, your response was that American Muslims are treated than the Muslims in Europe. And you call that NOT a nationalistic defense? LOL.

            “Or, I could play your game: Why did you get so defen­sive when some­one crit­i­cized China?

            Jones you are kind of slow. Didn’t I just write that I play the role of the China defender? Yes that would mean that I have to defend China, and you have been playing the same game for a while now as the USA defender.

            “Why did you bring up a nation that was com­pletely out of ques­tion, non-sequitur?”

            Because I find it kinda funny to watch some American guy complaining about nationalism in China when there are alot more nationalistic Americans roaming around right now in America.

            “The but­thurt com­ment was in ref­er­ence to you, as I men­tioned ear­lier, becom­ing des­per­ate and bring­ing up non-sequitur points.”

            Oh yes, your response to me bringing up non-sequitur points was to bring up non-sequitur points of your own to defend your mother nation. Have you noticed that that while I am admit to what I do, you are just being a hypocrite?

          • Jones

            Haha lolz, you live up to your name. Ok, ok, so, have a different experience/point-of-view/opinion than you do equates to being a “nationalistic defender”, but your different experience/point-of-view/opinion does not? You’re not making any sense again, lolz. Come on, focus here.

            My original post was in reference to the comments spewing back and forth on the internets between Chinese and Filipinos that are less than intelligent, a bit knee-jerk, reactionary, etc. You know what I’m talking about. I never expected you to be able to resist the urge to respond with a “NUH UH LOOKIT EVERYONE ELSE!!1″ sort of response, though. That’s just classic lolz that we all know.

            You have a strange sense of what the word “hypocrite” means if you more-or-less say “we do the same thing” but then you call the other person a hypocrite. But, hey, that’s cool that you have a different outlook on things. Very creative.

          • Jones

            I should rephrase this.

            Yes, Muslims are getting a bad rap here in the US. However, I struggle to see what bearing this has on Chinese/Filipino relations and public opinion. What was your point? That it’s ok that there’s this unwarranted animosity on the Chinese and Filipino side over the bus tragedy, because there’s also unwarranted animosity elsewhere in the world? That this fact somehow justifies it? Pay attention to your knee-jerk response to my original post and you’ll get your examples of “butthurt” and “nationalistic defense”. Unless, of course, you can somehow explain how Islam or the US come into play in this Chinese/Filipino shit-slinging sandwich?

          • lolz

            “How­ever, I strug­gle to see what bear­ing this has on Chinese/Filipino rela­tions and pub­lic opin­ion. What was your point? ”

            Didn’t I already state my point? I find it ironic that an American guy complaining about nationalism when the citizens of own country is just as if not more nationalistic. It would be kinda like Chinese people complaining about pollution in the US. That would be ironic wouldn’t it? I was also curious to see how people would respond to my message. In your first reply, if you had simply wrote that conflicts in US are unrelated to this issue, I would of just kept quiet. However, in your first reply you tried to justify America’s problem with Muslims by mentioning that Muslims are treated worse in Europe. You were never good at reasoning but I thought you would be smarter than that.

            “That it’s ok that there’s this unwar­ranted ani­mos­ity on the Chi­nese and Fil­ipino side over the bus tragedy, because there’s also unwar­ranted ani­mos­ity else­where in the world? ”

            Clearly Jones you demonstrated this line of reasoning in your first reply by bring up the subject that Muslims are treated worse in Europe? Think Jones, what does that have to do how Muslims are treated in the US? Nothing! The urge to deflect valid criticisms about one’s country, isn’t that a sign of nationalism?

            Of course, after I called you a hypocrite you followed up with a post admitting that US has a problem with Muslims. Haha.

          • Jones

            “Didn’t I already state my point? I find it ironic that an American guy com plaining about nationalism when the citizens of own country is just as if not more nationalistic.”

            Ok, so using this logic, it would be ironic for you to complain to me about nationalism of Americans (as you just did) because of the nationalism in your own country? Am I right? Yes, I am. Here’s the thing, lolz: just because another person, or group, or large group of others in your country do one thing, you’re not personally responsible for it. I never claimed that all Chinese people are throwing nationalistic, ethnocentric comments at Filipinos, and vice versa. However, you’re a damn fool if you decide to argue that there wasn’t an explosion of it after the incident. Your reasoning as to why you think I can’t say anything is very weak, and it very much appears like you felt overwhelmingly compelled to say something…anything…but just couldn’t come up with anything bright.

            “… if you had simply wrote that con­flicts in US are unrelated to this issue, I would of just kept quiet”
            Oh, I’m sure, lolz ; ) Given the fact that you couldn’t resist the temptation to take personal anything bad said about anything Chinese and throw out some comment suggesting that people within a nation can’t protest things that also exist in their country but yet still have nothing to do with the acute situation that is being discussed in the original post…I highly doubt you would have just kept quiet.

            “Think Jones, what does that have to do how Muslims are treated in the US? Nothing!”
            Ok, let’s compare. I talk about the nationalistic/ethnocentric comments coming from the Chinese and Filipinos, and you brought up “Islam in the US”. Hardly even related. You mention Islam in the US, I mention Islam in other open, free parts of the Western hemisphere. Islam and Islam are related, the US and the European countries…kind of, sure, I can see that part, but I’ll be damned if this is the first time that your lot has actually considered separate nations in the West to be unrelated to each other. Neat! Glad we’re breaking barriers here.

            “Of course, after I called you a hypocrite you fol­lowed up with a post admitting that US has a problem with Muslims. Haha.”
            And before I can even call you a hypocrite, you walked right out and said it. You even called yourself “The Chinese Defender” haha, what in the hell is that?

            One thing you really need to realize, lolz, is that there’s more than just one train of thought that goes on in foreign countries. Not everyone carries the same opinions, habits, etc. My original post, I was careful to make sure that it was clear I talked about only the certain emotions that go too far. You know, being a bit more specific. Understand? Retaliating with “OH YEAH AMERICANS HATE MUSLIMS!!!1″ is just retarded. Stop getting butthurt just because an American noticed that a portion of Chinese comments, regarding the bus incident and the Filipino population, were some ethnocentric, nationalism, titty-baby bleating. Your response was nothing more than the same cry-baby whining. But hey, I never expected much more from you.

          • King Tubby

            lolz. With a bit of luck your PRC apartment will lose power for a week or so, and the whole place will fill up with excrement, plus no lifts or water. Not beyond the realm of possibility. Then again, as a poster you have serious BO.

          • lolz

            “Ok, so using this logic, it would be ironic for you to com­plain to me about nation­al­ism of Amer­i­cans (as you just did) because of the nation­al­ism in your own coun­try? ”

            Yes it would be ironic if a Chinese guy complains about American nationalism, just like a Chinese guy would complain about say, pollution. Which is why you don’t see many Chinese complain about American nationalism right. However you do see lots of Americans such as yourself complaining about Chinese nationalism every chance you get. Why is that?

            “Given the fact that you couldn’t resist the temp­ta­tion to take per­sonal any­thing bad said about any­thing Chi­nese a”

            Jones, are you really that stupid, or just pretending to be? In my first comment to this thread I wrote that there is a problem with the bigotry against Filipinos in China, especially in HK and Taiwan where there are alot more Filipino maids. KT bashed me for being predictable, although I have no idea why since I was criticizing Chinese and he thinks I am a CCP lackey. In my last reply I mocked China’s pollution problem, because it exists. I have no problem with criticizing China if its warranted, you are just too stupid not to notice.

            So, let me ask again, why would you bring up the subject of how Muslims are treated in Europe when I stated that Muslims are treated bad in the US? If you think that me bringing up nationalism in the US is retarded, why would you bring up the issue of nationalism in Europe?

          • lolz

            “lolz. With a bit of luck your PRC apart­ment will lose power for a week or so, and the whole place will fill up with excre­ment, plus no lifts or water. ”

            :) Someone said something about me being butthurt, but even when you and jones tagteam to flame me, clearly I am not the one dishing out the hating. Don’t worry KT, I don’t live in China right now. But even if my place in China is filled with shit, a 175SQ meter apartment right off Nanjing road in Shanghai will likely to worth more than whatever you have.

            Are you usually this bitter and petty? Wishing me ill won’t make you any better you know. That’s the standard loser mentality. Stick to your usual China bashing KT, despite your unwarranted self-esteem you are simply not that good at personal attacks, well and posting in general. Either way, you will likely to get ignored in the future:)

          • Jones

            “How ever you do see lots of Americans such as yourself complaining about Chi­nese nationalism every chance you get.”

            Nationalism is annoying regardless of the nationality. However, when we’re on the topic of some of the Chinese and the Filipinos slinging shit at each other because of the bus tragedy…well…that’s the topic. Regardless of any of our nationalities, the topic was the ignorant people who took their emotions too far and started generalizing all Filipinos or Chinese when expressing their anger. The topic was very obvious, lolz. You just had another knee-jerk moment. However, prior to me even typing up my original post, you mentioned that Hong Kong-ers and Taiwanese “think of Filipinos as servants”, which would fall into line with discrimination of other Filipinos, and you complaining about it…when you know (from the nationalistic comments from some Chinese netizens) that it exists in your own country. So, why is it that it’s ok for you to do it, but not me? This is, again, what we call “bias blind spot”.

            ” although I have no idea why since I was criticizing Chinese and he thinks I am a CCP lackey.”

            You criticized Hong Kong (not mainlanders) and Taiwan (different country) but with no mention of mainland Chinese, who supplied a large amount of the netizens that were overreacting with their comments. I see what you did there. The predictability was the fact that you said nothing at all that was new. You just stated the facts that have already been said on a hundred other blogs, just using different words. It’s pretty much your usual move when you aren’t responding to people with a bunch of victimized responses, whining about Americans commenting on anything Chinese, or about things such as: “you and jones tagteam to flame me”. Terrible attempt at spin-doctoring. More than one person realizing you’re a tool does not equate to tag-teaming. It just means that the consensus is that you are a predictable tool. That’s all.

            “So, let me ask again, why would you bring up the subject of how Muslims are treated in Europe when I stated that Muslims are treated bad in the US?”

            No one mentioned “nationalism” in Europe. Discrimination against a religion does not necessarily mean “nationalism”.
            You change the subject to the treatment of Muslims. I mentioned that it wasn’t as bad as it would seem, because there is discussion allowed, within the public and the government, about the glaring example of discrimination against Muslims in the US. I then gave an worse example of discrimination, in a place where the discussion was limited or non-existent. It was on topic. Why did you bring up the Taiwanese when talking about Chinese looking down on Filipinos?

          • lolz

            “How­ever, when we’re on the topic of some of the Chi­nese and the Fil­ipinos sling­ing shit at each other because of the bus tragedy…well…that’s the topic. ”

            Let me make things simple Jones, why did you bring up Europe’s mistreatment of Muslims when I brought up America’s? And, why do you insist on avoiding this question Jones? :)

            “You crit­i­cized Hong Kong (not main­lan­ders) and Tai­wan (dif­fer­ent coun­try) but with no men­tion of main­land Chi­nese, who sup­plied a large amount of the neti­zens that were over­re­act­ing with their com­ments.”

            What is the problem here? I think HK and Taiwanese are Chinese. Half side of my family is from HK (and yes they have Filipino maids). There are still very few Filipinos in Mainland China, most Chinese have never met Filipinos before. For what reason would the mainlanders have a strong reaction for or against Filipinos initially? If you actually follow the forums and news, most of the anti-Filipino comments came from HKers initially. AFTER the pics of smiling police did the rest of the mainland Chinese get upset, as they should be.

            Now, you say that mainland supplied large amount of netizens who were overreacting with their comments. How do you know this? Do you visit popular ANY Chinese forums in Mainland OR HK? Can you even READ Chinese at all? You see you are just making up bullshit on the fly, you are too thin skinned to admitting it.

            “You just stated the facts that have already been said on a hun­dred other blogs, just using dif­fer­ent words.”

            LOL Jones, making up more “facts” along the way? Can you find me 100 blogs which talks about the shitty treatment of Filipinos in HK or Taiwan and link it to the uproar of this incident? Heck can you even find 100 blogs which talks about prejudices against SE Asians in general in HK, or any part of China? Plus, use that little brain of yours for once, even if it has been mentioned 100 times already does it mean that I should not mention it? I can actually find over 100 blogs which criticize Chinese nationalists in both Chinese and English, but you certainly don’t think of yourself to be predictable.

            Living in denial, lying, being a hypocrite, and being harebrained in general are not good personal traits to have Jones. Fortunately, most of the Americans I’ve met are not like that :)

            BTW, this flame war has gone long enough. If I were KAI I would just delete most of comments here. Feel free to have the “last words” as I am done with arguing on this subject. I would be happy to bash you on another topic though when a worthwhile topic comes up.

          • Jones

            “Let me make things simple Jones, why did you bring up Europe’s mistreatment of Muslims…”
            The answer to this question was at the end, in a big paragraph, of the article you just responded to.

            “I think HK and Tai­wanese are Chinese.”
            Hong Kong is part of China, yes. Taiwan is not. Pay attention to current events a little bit more. Even then, you still ignored the entirety of Mainland China.

            “AFTER the pics of smil ing police did the rest of the main­land Chinese get upset, as they should be.”
            Upset, yes. I agree. However, you failed to realize that I was talking about the Chinese and Filipino commentators who let their emotions get the best of them and began throwing out nationalistic and ethnocentric comments back and forth. You know, stuff that labels the entire population of the Philippines or China in a single, derogatory sense.

            “You see you are just making up bull shit on the fly, you are too thin skinned to admitting it.”
            Is that it? You’re just going to call “bullshit” and not back it up? You’re seriously going to tell me that there’s not a lot of this coming out of the Mainland?

            “LOL Jones, mak ing up more “facts” along the way? Can you find me 100 blogs…”
            Wow, you are really struggling, aren’t you? Do you realize that you have yet to respond with any sort of answer to any question I have asked, any statement I have made, with a credible retort? It’s all thinly veiled, desperate attempts at dodging questions by talking about the use of colons, refusing to admit having read sections of my response, etc. Now it’s taking a generalized number literally? I bet you’re the type to try to call it quits and attempt to keep your dignity intact by saying you’re bored of the argument (something to that nature) without ever having rebutted anything.

            “Living in denial, lying, being a hypocrite, and being hare brained in general are not good personal traits to have Jones. Fortunately, most of the Americans I’ve met are not like that :)”
            Hahahaha you’re not very good at this. Nice smilies, though.

            “BTW, this flame war has gone long enough. If I were KAI I would just delete most of com ments here.”
            Don’t be silly, lolz. Begging to have all records of this deleted won’t make anyone realize that you’re an incompetent tool when it comes to spinning and being humorous.

            “Feel free to have the “last words” as I am done with arguing on this subject. I would be happy to bash you on another topic though when a worth while topic comes up.”
            Called it.
            Unsuccessful lolz is unsuccessful.

  4. Tiu Fu Fong

    I suspect the photos in front of the bus would have been repeated in Hong Kong or mainland China. As a very broad statement, the China public is about 20-30 years behind places like the UK, Canada, Australia and the US in terms of the sense of public propriety, Hong Kong maybe 10-15 years. The public in those Western nations were probably just as crass 20-30 years ago and learned how to be more sensitive with media reporting and censure. In the UK, the distasteful public mourning and public sympathy tourism are part of the same broad social process.

    China’s populace (or some sections of it) is heading in the same direction through the power of the internet and events like this are a reminder to them of what they should not do themselves. Condemnation as self-education.

    • passerby

      You’ve got to be kidding me.

      A) There are insensitive people everywhere. B) Mainlanders, maybe, but HKers are usually a better lot.

  5. Anon

    Not insensitive. Any time anything bad happens to Chinese abroad, it’s all “this wouldn’t happen to Americans!” “Everyone knows they can mess with us because our weak government doesn’t do anything!” “This is why China must become fuqiang!” “Garbage [country]!” It’s like a broken record. The sentiment is always the same, the words are always the same, it could all be cut and pasted and you’d never notice.

    Not, of course, that there isn’t some intelligent stuff or at least idiotic stuff that at least has its own voice, but it really gets drowned out sometimes.

  6. nom

    you also got the other end of the extreme, such as the radical democrats in hong kong, blaming the prc government of incompetent and not doing enough.

    e.g.
    http://plastichk.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-post_24.html

    • Duncan

      You are talking about a bunch of idiots that can’t get shit done and think this is democracy, welcome to democracy 101.

  7. Given the past incidents in Pakistan, Ethopia, and elsewhere – I am not too terribly surprised about the incident itself. But those past incidents involved mainland Chinese – and the play in the P.R. Chinese papers (China Daily, CCTV, etc.) was measured and very parsed. What stands out on this incident, it happened with H.K. Chinese – who could get free and unfettered access to the event.

    Have a feeling that either: a) the CCP will allow better coverage on mainland tourist incidents; b) the CCP will “persuade” the H.K. press to tone down their coverage.

    Now the real question will be if there is a downturn in P.R. Chinese Tourism in Southeast Asia after this.

    • passerby

      Mainland people don’t have access to most HK newspapers, and for the few that mainlanders can get, they only get them at hotels, etc. (i.e., where the overseas/rich Chinese are).

    • Duncan

      You westerner still don’t understand, it is not as much about the stupid rescue as it is more about the respect shown afterwards, by the President and police. As for the dumb a$$ saying stupid crap about HKer treating Philippinos like crap? Really? Get out of your cave much? Perhaps one or two incidents per year at most, some domestic helpers actually live alone most times and don’t have to do jack. Also we can perhaps send them back if they feel they are being treated improperly, surely the Indos will gladly that up the positions, why don’t you ask some of the helpers in Central on Sunday if they want to go back.

  8. Henry

    Could it be that people simply enjoy and seize upon any chance to assert their collective superiority over another group? Could it also be that alienated and angry individuals take pleasure in banding together into a large, angry and powerful group? Whenever there is a socially-sanctioned scapegoat, there will be people seizing the opportunity to throw stones. I believe it was Nietzsche who said “Avoid those in whom the desire to punish is strong.”

    • pug_ster

      FYI,

      I think that it is wrong to blame on the Filipino people on this tragedy and the problem on the Philippine government and the police.

      I think it is wrong for some Filipino attitudes to think just because Philippines is a 3rd world country so they don’t care or turning a blind eye to rob or hold foreigners hostage. That’s why foreign investment to this country is way down and one of the main sources of income is Filipino sending money into this country. If they want to build up the country, maybe they should stop victimizing themselves and take back their government.

  9. Duncan

    Yes, you are an insensitive prick, and you not not looking at why some chinese are angry, the Flippino police pose for pictures smiling at the scene of the failed hostage rescue site, with the bus being the back drop. That is why some are angry, a lack of respect shown for the dead, imagine the uproar if somebody pose smiling at the 911 site right after the incident, if the execution of the hostage rescue was not bad enough, the nonchalant attitude of the Philippine president and police really drove us (CHinese) over the top. So next time you decide to butt in on really “our” issues, feel free to look at it from “our” point of view, stupid is what stupid saids!!!

    • pug_ster

      Yes that’s the problem. Maybe the PHP would get the hint that alot of people are angry over the mishandling the hostage crisis. But then the PHP turned the crime scene into a tourist attraction. They just don’t get it.

    • Jones

      There was quite a bit of animosity prior to the photograph phase of the tragedy. It pretty much started snow-balling about three-quarters of the way through the incident.

      • Duncan

        Quite a bit of animosity? LOL, imagine the uproar in your country Mr. Jones, say if a soldier in your Country gave their live in a incident, then have the people their open the casket for reporters to take pictures before sending it back to your country, what would you think then?

        • Tiu Fu Fong

          I’d probably think that I was reading the Apple Daily. Chinese tabloids love gory photos, along with cartoons depicting what lead to the events in case your imagination is lacking. When Chinese reporters show no respect to Chinese victims of tragic circumstances, not many people get outraged. Instead, sales of the Apple Daily go up.

        • Tiu Fu Fong

          Of course, in your scenario, I’d also expect many Americans to get upset – and rightfully so. However, many Amercians would also say idiotic, hypocritical things, often motivated by a sense of cultural or racial superiority. I would think they were idiots, just like I think many of those working themselves up into a nationalistic lather over this incident are idioits.

        • Jones

          Duncan, good job on understanding the fact that I was talking about the fact that people were casting blame on Filipinos by way of racist/ethnocentric comments and mud-slinging before the photo-ops in front of the bus happened. No shit there’s animosity about the pictures. My point is that the animosity was happening before those pictures came out, and the pictures made it worse. This is very obviously my point, and if you can’t understand it by reading it then I don’t know what to tell you, man.

  10. PotKettle

    Stan, the problem with blogs is that they start with good intentions to try and understand another culture/people but end up criticizing anything than doesn’t conform with their own norms. Some things you will never “get” as you’re looking from outside not within.

  11. Michiel V

    Hypothetical: What would have happened if a bus with Mainland tourists got hijacked by a disgruntled HK ex-cop and in the process of handling the crisis the bus gets blown up or some other bungle happens? Could this happen? Would there be outrage? Would there be inappropriate photographs and reactions? Would you (we, they) be having this discussion?

    • james

      yes it would michael. it would never happen but yes there would be outrage and we would be having this discussion. If there were inappropriate photographs, those who posed in them would be forced to come out and issue public apologies and explanations. And no, the Chief would not issue a media conference smiling like a prick.

  12. Bai Ren

    So I scanned the posts… NO WORD OF THE MALAYSIAN RIOTS?! okay sure, tourists versus residents, general riot versus hostage takers (but given the apparent frequency of these incidents we might read something of a political movement into them) 2010 versus 1997 (and please rudely correct me if im wrong on that because I totally didnt fact check that date).
    However, the riots where one of the first times that Chinese made use of the Internet to make a demand of their government. Rumor has it (from a lecture I attended that I cant link) that China’s foreign ministry’s email account was shut down because of all the emails flooding them about this incident. The Chinese people (yes ‘the chinese’ mainlanders and those living abroad, with and without connections to Malaysia) wanted the CCP to do something to ensure the protection of the Chinese living abroad.

    Isn’t there something in that which is similar to the reaction here? I read that China’s news might be 20 odd years behind the western medias reporting on international incidents, WTF is this remark? The presence of this event in the minds of those ‘virtually publicly’ (okay awkward turn of phrase) may have started with the presentation of institutionalized media but grows and continues with social media, something that china may very well be at the cutting edge of.
    This event will be remembered by scholars of china’s fastest growing social practice and we’d better damned well track the ebb and flow of discussion